Transit of Alexandra

Fuckin they’re on Native Time. I ain’t scared Ma, I’m mad. Fuckin chicken shit! I’m shaking cause I’m mad, Ma, that’s how mad I am! Two sets of footsteps, one a halfbeat behind. She catches up to Ma as they pass me, raging about white cunts on stolen land they’s just borrowing this place we…

Equinox 2017: Seasons Change

Hello again. It’s been a while. This spring, my mother passed away. My father passed when I was nineteen, just setting out in the world. Mom was 51 then, as I am now: 51, a woman who’d given up bank work to raise a family with her husband working in the Armed Forces as a…

For the Light Returning: How Not to Freeze

Free Tibet! bang bang Free Tibet!  Their voices and their drums shimmered through the frosty air. They danced past the doors of the Strathcona Farmers’ Market, and i hustled in after my hubby, looking assiduously away from them. I’d recognised one of the dancing drummers, indigenous of mixed ancestry, and an artist -so, not unlike…

A Rant for Rick Mercer: The Problem With Gord Downie

Hey, Rick, Been listening in on your rants for years, as we all do. Now I’ve got one for you, coming from a place of Cantankerous Love, on the problem with Gord Downie. The problem isn’t Gord Downie. He’s doing something brave, meaningful and relevant with his last remaining days among us. That is laudable….

1986: the stereo stand

it was 1986 and my brother had made a stereo stand it was crap, frankly, a cry of despair if you knew how to read such things, but i didn’t. we just liked having a stereo stand because of course, my sister had a stereo she also had me, and her old pal as room…

No Masterpiece: On Finding One Drum

Here’s the essay i wrote for Edmonton Arts Council’s 2015 Annual Report (pg. 11). Lots of other good stuff in this issue, too. But as for my piece, it took a while to know what to write. After all, it turns out (a little to my surprise) that my practice could be accurately described as…

Tawatinâ Bridge Song

Recently, i was asked to present poetry at a workshop for the shortlisted artists in line for a major city commission – art for the Tawatinâ* Bridge, which will bring a new LRT line across our river and down through the Millwoods community. If you know Edmonton, you know how big this connection is; if you…

Walking the Dark

Just read another blog, from another friend, speaking about yet one more experience of darkness. One more person who appears so bright, who turns out to be struggling. I guess that’s it. When we walk in the darkness, we might forget that, to others, we are a light. So, in this new year, just want…

Looking for Us: Adventures in Reconciling Edmonton

This summer, i was invited to be part of a great project, with a great team of women. Reconciling Edmonton, proposed by Historian Laureate Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, brought together 2 Aboriginal women – myself and Miranda Jimmy – and 2 ‘Settler’ women – Danielle, and Artist-in-Residence for the Office of the City Clerk,  Jennie Vegt. Our mission:…

Skirt, The Issue: A Moment to Address the Headdress

Edmonton Folk Festival, in their 35th year, have once again shown themselves to be a world class organisation. The word came out today that they’ve banned “Indian Headdresses” from their festival grounds. A friend contacted me this morning, to ask would i  like to comment publicly. At first I thought, who cares? Me, I can…

Skirt: The Issue – Part Two

Fist-Fight at the Sunrise Ceremony, circa 1996. Okay,there wasn’t any fist fight. Not out loud. Not with physical fists. But, i wager that, on some level, it looked just like a fist fight. What it was billed as was an interfaith ceremony. I was attending because i was working, at that time, with a Traditional…

Skirt: the Issue – Part One

Illegal religions make for subterranean ways of saying things. That’s the only way these religions can survive. And sadly, just as humans exhibit a natural pull toward organising our spiritual lives, we seem to find it al too easy to make the jump from sharing and coordinating our impulse to acknowledge Deity, to proscribing the…